Poverty and unemployment in East Devon

How much is structural and how much is due to the current economic crisis?

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Although East Devon is generally ‘well off’, there is still a lot of poverty beneath the surface:

Tackling East Devon’s poverty – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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And there is much reliance on the low-wage economy – which has been particularly badly hit of late:

Low wage seaside – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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At the District Council’s cabinet meeting this week, a strategy for dealing with poverty was presented:

The first meeting of East Devon District Council’s all-party Poverty Working Panel met on 12th October, which was established to contribute towards the formation of the Council’s first East Devon Poverty Strategy.

The Poverty Working Panel was initiated at a meeting of the Cabinet on 5th February 2020 at which it was agreed that tackling poverty in East Devon is one of the Council’s priorities.

30 October 2020 – East Devon District Council to address poverty across the district – East Devon

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The cabinet also looked at how the current Covid crisis is not helping:

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‘Large scale redundancies’ forecast across East Devon

“We can expect rises in unemployment, more business closures and ongoing challenges for the local economy.”

At the height of the pandemic, a third of the entire workforce within the district was furloughed, and unemployment rates have already risen from two per cent to five per cent…

East Devon District Council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday night heard that there had been significant impacts on the tourism and hospitality, retail, construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as high levels of youth unemployment, and in the latest claimant count figures, a rise in worklessness amongst those over the age of 50…

The cabinet agreed to note the work that has been undertaken to manage the immediate impact of the pandemic, to support co-ordinating economic recovery activity through the Team Devon approach, and that a report for next month’s meeting which would set out the resource requirements associated with supporting economic recovery be produced…

‘Large scale redundancies’ forecast across East Devon – Devon Live

One in 10 East Devon residents heading for dole – Radio Exe

East Devon unemployment rate could soar to 10% in the next six months

   
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